Opera on the Beach


Opera on the Beach

Coolangatta Beach

Presented by Opera Australia
in partnership with Bleach* Festival, City of Gold Coast and Tourism & Events Queensland

Mozart's The Magic Flute; out of the theatre and onto the beach...

Sometimes it feels like a crime to go indoors when the skies are clear, even for a night at the opera. That’s why we’re taking the opera out of the theatre and onto the beach.

Picture a giant sandcastle on the beach at Coolangatta, families enjoying a picnic, children playing as the sun goes down, and miraculously beautiful music. And there you have a uniquely Australian production of one of the world’s favourite operas, Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

This new production is directed by Michael Gow and stars some of Opera Australia’s finest singers alongside a chorus drawn from community choirs and Gold Coast’s own surf life saving clubs. Together, they will battle the monster, put a spell on the guards and rescue the princess before sending you home with stars in your eyes, sand in your shoes and songs in your heart.

Now that’s opera, Australia!

Food, beverage and seating

A range of food and beverages is available at the venue from 5pm.

For the comfort of our patrons only low chairs will be permitted. Strictly no BYO alcohol. Alcohol will be available for purchase on site.

Spread out your towel on the sand and picnic under the stars.



The Opera Australia Community Choir has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body.
Bleach* Festival is an initiative of Connecting Southern Gold Coast.


Conductor Simon Kenway
Director Michael Gow
Set & Costume Design Robert Kemp
Sound Designer Adrian Riddell
Lighting Designer Paul Collison
Pamina Janet Todd
Tamino Jonathan Abernethy
Papageno Jason Barry-Smith
Queen of the Night Milica Ilic
Sarastro Conal Coad
First Lady Hannah Dahlenburg
Second Lady Emma Castelli
Third Lady Anna Yun
Papagena Jessica Dean
Monostatos Benjamin Rasheed


Running time: approximately 2 hours & 20 minutes, including one 30-minute interval.

The Magic Flute

Act 1
Tamino, a young explorer, finds himself in a mysterious tomblike maze.  A terrible monster begins stalking him and in his panic to escape, Tamino knocks himself out.  At that moment, Three Women arrive to send the monster back to whatever vault it escaped from.
The Three Women are very taken with Tamino, each wanting to stay alone with him while the other two go and alert the woman they serve, the mysterious Queen of the Night. In the end all three go, promising to return.
Tamino comes to, not sure where he is or even whether he’s not dreaming.  Another bizarre figure appears.  It’s Papageno, the former ornithologist now bird catcher who works for the Queen of the Night.  Papageno claims to have defeated the monster but the three women return and make it clear they were the ones who rescued Tamino.  To stop Papageno fibbing they put a stopper in his mouth.
They give Tamino a locket with a portrait of the Queen of the Night’s daughter Pamina.  Tamino immediately falls in love with Pamina and vows to rescue her from the terrible man who has kidnapped her.
The Queen of the Night hears his vow and arrives to promise that the moment Pamina is rescued she will be Tamino’s bride.
The Three Women give Tamino a magic flute to protect him on his mission. They give Papageno, who doesn’t really want to help, a magic music box to keep him safe.  The Three Woman give both men Spirits to guide them on their quest.  Tamino and Papageno set off to rescue Pamina.
Pamina is trying to escape from the maze but she is caught by Monostatos, the man who is assigned to guard her.  It’s clear Monostatos is very taken with Pamina.  Papageno stumbles in and looks so bizarre Monostatos goes to get help.  Papageno tells Pamino that a handsome young man is in love with her and they must go to meet him.  They both yearn to have someone to love.
Tamino meanwhile encounters a Stranger who questions him about his reasons for being in this tomb.  Tamino tells him he’s here to rescue a young women from an evil man.  The Stranger tells Tamino he doesn’t know the true  story about Pamina’s kidnap.
Tamino is afraid Pamina might be dead but mysterious voices tell him she is still alive.  
The Stranger returns with his followers.  The Stranger is in fact Sarastro, Pamina’s father and leader of a band of Philosophers working in the tomb.  Monostatos has caught Tamino, who is shocked to learn the Stranger he insulted is the man who stole his beloved from her mother.  Monostatos expects to be rewarded for finding Tamino but instead is punished for harassing Pamina.  Sarastro tells Tamino he must join the Philosophers or never find his way out of the maze.
Act 2
Sarastro and the Philosophers convene and agree that Tamino is ready to undergo the three trials that lead to membership of their circle.  The first trial is the Trial by Silence.
The Three Women appear and warn them that terrible things will happen to them if they join the Philosophers.  Papageno is terrified and can’t keep quiet.
The Spirit Guides appear to tell the two men to be brave in the coming trials.  They feed them to build up their strength for what’s to come.
Pamina finds Tamino but he can’t speak to her because of the Trial by Silence.  She thinks he doesn’t love her any more and is heartbroken.  She thinks that only death will end her suffering.  Papageno wishes he had someone to feel as deeply about him.
Monostatos finds the unhappy Pamina and decides to make her his, but The Queen of the Night arrives.  She is impatient for Tamino to lead Pamina out of the tomb.  She admits she also wants to know the secret knowledge that Sarastro is uncovering.  When Pamina tells her Tamino will become one of the Philosphers, The Queen of the Night is enraged.  She tells Pamina she must kill Sarastro or she will no longer be her daughter.
Sarastro comforts Pamina and tells her that the secret knowledge he has uncovered involves forgiveness and resistance to the urge for revenge.
Tamino is led to the next two trials, The Trial by Fire and the Trial by Water by two Priests in protective outfits.  Pamina cries out in despair, Tamino hears her and they are reunited.  Pamina bravely leads Tamino through the secret doors that lead to the two Trials.  Her love and the music of the magic flute protect them and they survive.  They are welcomed into the band of Philosophers.
Papageno is overwhelmed by loneliness and thinks of ending his life.  But the Spirits Guides tell him to use the music box to obtain what he longs for.  He does and finally meets his perfect partner, Papagena.
Monostatos is now aiding and abetting the Queen of Night and they are about to blow up the tomb when Sarastro exposes their plot.  But instead of punishing them, he heeds his own philosophy and humbles himself before them, asking forgiveness for having been so angry towards them.  Every one sings of the joy and harmony that come from listening to this wisdom.

Opera on the Beach is located at Coolangatta Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland

All seating for Opera on the Beach is on the sand. Premium, A-reserve, and B-reserve are all seated by general admission so we recommend arriving early. Check out the  Opera on the Beach Seating Map (pdf). In the premium section, a low-set beach chair will be provided. If you're sitting in A-reserve or B-reserve, you're welcome to bring your own chair (but the back of chair should be no taller than 80 cm from the ground). Camping chairs are not permitted. If you don't want to bring a chair, we recommend bringing a blanket, towel, or beach mat to sit on.

Venue Map – includes a guide to entry points and on site facilities (pdf)

Welcome to our inaugural production of Opera on the Beach.

In 2014 it is our pleasure to present a new production of The Magic Flute.  We have assembled some information to help guide you through you night and make this a spectacular experience truly unforgettable.

Important Times

Venue open:  5:00pm
Show Starts:  6:30pm

What to wear

There are no rules about what to wear at an opera performance. It is always great fun to frock-up for the occasion and make a glamorous night of it, but dressing up is not mandatory. Remember this is an outdoor event so most importantly you will be sitting on the sand and should dress for all weather conditions.

Cloak Room

There are no cloak room facilities available.  We recommend that you do not bring large or bulky items or items of significant value. Please also note that there is strictly no BYO Alcohol.  However, there are a range of food and beverage options available at the venue from 5pm.


Opera on the Beach is General Admission with allocated reserves. There is no undercover seating. Please remember that unless you have purchased premium seating you will be sitting on the beach.

Beach mats, towels, blankets and the ground beach chairs are permitted for you to bring to sit on for the performance. Camping chairs will not be permitted on site.

Location and site map

Late Seating

To ensure the enjoyment of all audience members, we will be unable to seat latecomers until a suitable break in the performance.

Service of alcohol

Premium Ticket Holders will receive a ticket to an exclusive Premium Bar area located on the beach. This exclusive area will be opening during interval and post show for the Premium guests. A-Reserve, B-Reserve and Restricted Seating will have access to one of three bars located across the site. These bars are not exclusive to ticket holders, but will have a number of food and beverage options available at affordable prices.

Only beverages purchased at the venue will be permitted – sorry, no BYO. And of course, you must be over 18 to purchase or consume alcohol at the venue.

ATM and cash

Payment will be accepted cash only. Please note there will be no ATM facilities at Opera on the Beach.

Pre and post show dining

There are a number of restaurants located along Marine Parade to cater for all budgets and tastes. Please be sure to visit one of the many options available before or after the show. There will also be a BBQ on site run by the Greenmount Surf Club and other snack options. For more information about dining options close to Opera on the Beach click here. Please read our full Terms and Conditions before purchasing dining packages.


The Magic Flute is sung in English. Don’t worry if you can’t follow every word as the action will convey a great deal of the story. If you wear glasses make sure you bring them along.


There will be one 30 minute interval which will allow you to have a drink, freshen-up and stretch your legs. When you hear the bells ringing, it's time to return to your seats.


Opera audiences are famous for their passionate involvement in the performance. Don't be alarmed if the people around you start stomping their feet at the end of the performance, this is an opera tradition to show your enjoyment and appreciation, feel free to join in if you like. All applause will be gratefully received, although it is polite to wait until the singing and music has stopped.


The recording (audio or video) and taking of photos (including camera phones) during the performance is prohibited.

Mobile phones

We request that mobile phones are turned off prior to the performance. If you must keep your phone turned on, please place it on silent or vibrate mode. Please also remember that light from your phone may be distracting to other audience members.

After the show

Performances will finish around 8.30pm so you'll have time to enjoy a drink at any one of the on-site bar areas before heading out to enjoy the nightlife of Gold Coast.

We hope you enjoy your night at the Opera on the Beach.

Age Limits

People of all ages are welcome to attend, however all patrons must hold a valid ticket to enter the venue. Children under 15 have discounted entry – refer to ticket prices. There is free entry for ‘babes in arms’, however, prams are not allowed on the beach. 

Non Smoking Venue

Opera on the Beach is largely a non smoking venue, however limited designated areas will be provided where smoking is permitted.

Opera Australia is committed to the rights of all people to experience our events. As such, we have implemented specific access measures for Opera on the Beach The Magic Flute to welcome guests with disability.

For any other disability access information please contact QTIX on 136 246.

View site maps indicating the facilities for accessible access as well as access drop-off points, and a seating plan showing accessible seating. 


Opera on the Beach is an open-air event. The venue and the stage are completely uncovered. The special nature of this event will be appreciated by visitors from all over the world who understand that there is a certain risk of bad weather. Opera Australia and Bleach* Festival is therefore committed to going ahead with a performance of Opera on the Beach even in doubtful weather conditions.

Visitors are advised that it may rain during the performance. The performance will proceed if there are light, intermittent showers. We recommend that guests bring warm and rainproof clothing. Please note that although umbrellas can be brought to the venue, out of consideration for other members of the audience, they cannot be used during the performance.\

In case of extreme weather, The Magic Flute may be delayed by up to 50 minutes at any point throughout the performance.

The performance will only be cancelled if the weather poses a threat to the safety of performers or the audience. Cancellation will occur in the event of heavy rain and/or strong winds as Opera Australia and Bleach* Festival acknowledges that the comfort and safety of the audience and its performers are paramount.

If the performance is cancelled or plays for less than 50% of the total performance running time, the ticket holder shall have the ticket price refunded in full or can exchange the ticket for a subsequent performance. Customers should contact the organisation from whom they purchased their tickets to organise an exchange or refund of tickets the next business day.

For more information, please contact Opera Australia Customer Service.


From the iconic Surfers Paradise beach to the sophisticated dining precincts of Main Beach and Broadbeach and out to the lush, green Hinterland, there’s a new experience waiting for you at every turn on the Gold Coast.

Download our useful Visitor Info and Maps to help plan your visit to the Gold Coast.

Check out for more information about things to do and see on the Gold Coast.

Opera on the Beach is set on one of Gold Coast's most famous surf beaches – Greenmount Beach at Coolangatta. Why not plan a visit and create a truly unforgettable experience?

Bleach* Festival recommends a number of accomodation providers. Visit the Bleach* Festival website for more information.

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